I know it's a commercial marketing scheme for pushing stock at the end of the year at ridiculous prices that they would never have gone for at any other time of year and any real significance the season used to have was lost in the commercial haze long ago. I do.
It's just that I remember Christmas before I knew all that. When the gifts were just that. Gifts. And there was fun in giving and taking. There was a ridiculous amount of hype for Christmas in my life and I can never forget how being excited that Christmas was coming felt.
My all time favourite things about Christmas were the following in no particular order:
1. Gifts! Yay! Somebody loves me! 2. Peoples reactions when they saw the awesome and totally surprising gift that you got them. 3. Christmas Breakfast: A magical spread consisting of everybody's individual favourite breakfasts. 4. Having Christmas brekky in your pajamas and no one making a fuss about it. 5. Tinsel: It's sparkly 6. Christmas Lights: Also sparkly 7. Christmas Carols: We forget about them all year and then at the end of the year it's this bunch of season appropriate songs that we all knew! Best sung at the top of one's voice with pumping fists! 8. Corny Christmas Films: Guilty pleasure. They give me the warm fuzzies. 9. Everybody's good Christmas Mood! 10. Christmas Tree: No better place to put gifts under or perch a star or angel on top of. Plus they wear tinsel and Christmas lights. 11: Ginger Bread Everything: Tastes best on Christmas Day. 12. Santa Clause: I don't care if he doesn't exist. He's a nice man and I love him!
We wish everyone, those who celebrate Christmas, those who celebrate other holy days and those who just celebrate, the best of the season!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!! XX
No creative process is without its hiccups I suppose.
I have to say, though, right now I feel kind of like Jack Black. You know how Tenacious D sang that song about having met the devil at a cross roads and then singing the most awesome rock song in the history of the world but then forgetting it after so that the song they were singing was actually really just a tribute to that song?
Well we have this design. I don't think it's the most awesome design in the history of the world. But I Loved it. And Cee loved it too. The only problem was it is a controversial design. In fact, according to our loved ones, it's something that could get us hurt.
We argued and harangued and even pouted a lot but nothing could convince our loved ones otherwise. We don't want to compromise the design so it looks like we're not going to be coming out with it. Not yet anyhow.
We're not trashing it though. Even if we have to make just one copy only to be bought by someone we truly trust and only on the condition that they frame it and display it in a hidden gallery in their Fortress of Solitude in Antartica, we will someday print that design.
Meanwhile, maybe like Tenacious D, we should just do a Tribute?
Moving to Lagos has been a big turning point for us. So many things have changed. We've changed.
Both of us had to get jobs for one thing. That meant doing grown up things like waking up early and thinking about stocks and real estate. Those parts were scary! But it has also meant actually growing as people. We've had new experiences, seen new things and made new friends. Those parts we liked.
When we got here, one of the first things we did was release a collection that was inspired by the emotions we experienced during our shift. We called it "Lagos" and it featured our citrusy line of "Molue" tops, the sexy Je Suis Africaine v-neck for girls, the "football or soccer" confusion shirt for guys and our first ever tote bags!
We threw a thing to formally launch the collection and the label in Lagos and were able to do it in collaboration with our friends at the Xposure Studio in VI. Their fine work (pictures taken of our friends in our shirts) was the central exhibition piece that night. We printed them out then pegged them to hangers and hung them from a clothing rack instead of the real shirts! That was fun.
Finally we released the most recent of our love notes. Also called "Lagos". This note was really special to us because it was our expression of the mood that was Lagos as we first re-experienced it. Ayetoro was what we were listening to then and we still feel his track "Naija Blues II," which we featured in our note, is extremely eloquent of that mood.
This love note was not just to our image club but also to the whole of Lagos as we saw it. A crazy, beautiful, vibrant, sexy city that's like no place else on earth.
Some of you may have noticed by now that we love haiku.
In its simplest and most pop culture form, a haiku is a form of verse that anyone can use to express a moment or a thought (purists may disagree ;-). It's something that came out of Japan and now belongs to the world. That's one of the things we love about it.
We also like how zen it is. In haiku you can articulate the nebulous by condensing it into three concrete lines. We have always found haiku to be an effective way of expressing what we are and what we do and we write a lot of them.
We have two signature haiku that we feel truly define us. The first appears in many of the things we do. It's a haiku that puns on our names:
To bee is to cee The sun rise through our eyes in expressions so green
The second though not used as much actually expresses our relationship with the art form:
We are the haiku. Five. Seven. Five. Symmetry. Meanings lost and found.
As you can see, the only rules we follow is that of the 5-7-5 break down of 17 syllables into three lines. This makes our haiku very loosely related to the stricter definition of this genre. It's probably more closely related to the form of verse called Zappai (a genre that has the same rules of structure and like haiku evolved out of Haikai).
That's about as technical as we like to go with it. You should know, however, that the haiku is a very old form of poetry with layers of characteristics that can allow it to be as deep and as complex as its writer wants it to be.
All in all, haiku is a very satisfying mode of expression and we recommend it to everyone as an art form that can bring you a little bit of balance (even if it's temporary) in a sometimes hectic world.
"Scrap book" the video was our second love note and it was created to introduce our second collection "Nepa."
I think in a way, Nepa was just a continuation of Nostalgia because why else would we have suddenly become obsessed with Nigeria's former national power company and its legacy of broken promises?
The "Nepa" collection was created in Miami but some of its earliest versions first appeared in NY. Because of this, "Scrap Book" the video features both locations (onlike the vintage one which shows just Miami. Right next to our apartment swimming pool to be precise!). Another cool thing about this video is you can glimpse the extra limited prototypes of what was later to become the "Lagos" Collection! The song was a remix of Bonny M's "Sunny" which we were absolutely crazy about because who didn't dance to Bonny M's "Brown Girl in the Ring" when they were a kid (that is a kid that grew up in Lagos in the 80s)? Unfortunately, we don't know who's remix it is so any information on that would be mucho appreciated.
In case it got lost in the mail; here's "Scrap Book" again for your viewing pleasure!
It's not an easy thing to do. That's why we appreciate you guys so much. And that's the why of The scrap book page of our website. It evolved out of a need to celebrate you.
When our shirts started going out, pictures began to come in of you guys wearing them. Each successive one thrilled us to each of our twenty toes. I'm afraid we became addicted to them.
Now we shamelessly court them. Send us your pictures of you living and loving in your imekura tees. We shall mount them up on our scrap book page and glow every time we look at them knowing that you totally get us.Some of you are already on there so please be sure to check yourselves out!
We look forward to expanding the page into something of yearbook proportions in the future, complete with a section for your much coveted feedback. You must, therefore, keep it coming!
Each and every one of you is a precious muse to two green girls. We thank you for adding colours to our world. Thank you for the love and support you have generously given.
From the beginning, it was about love. That's why we sent you the notes. Remember the notes? Little bitty videos that expressed us to you in pictures and sounds?
After the first time, it became a sort of tradition and this is how it all began:
After we designed, we found a canvas we were happy with (the tees) then we found a printer we could work with (Chris) and then we waited. Then the Tees came. We were so excited that on the very day that they arrived, without even pausing to iron them, we took them out to the patio and took a whole bunch of photos by the pool. Then later that night we joined the photos together and placed them against the backdrop of the song we were listening to everyday at the time ("Summer Eulogy" by Jupiter One).
That was the note.
By the next day, we'd sent it out to all of you! Do you remember now? That was for the 'Nostalgia' collection and at first it had no name. Today we call it "the vintage one."Check it out again:
See what we mean about love?
Oh - and see what we mean about Jupiter One? All our love forever, xx
Has that thing ever happened to you where a tune gets into your head and becomes a soundtrack for everything you're doing? Like driving or shopping or dressing up? And then some how (especially if you're in the creative industry) the tune leaks into your work so that it's translated into a story or a drawing or a design? Yes? Don't you love that?
It always seems like art that was influenced by other art that you love and appreciate comes out with an extra something. Like a love child that will always remind you of the other parent (which is only good, i suppose, if you actually love that other parent). Later you can look back on it and have a total nostalgic moment. So sweet.
If I remember correctly, when imekura started, we (the other green girl and I) had simultaneously gotten into Bossa nova. I had discovered Joao and Astrud Gilberto, Cee had discovered their daughter Bebel and we were in total harmony. Bebel's work in particular featured on our respective playlists around the time we were working on the nostalgia collection.
Some of our favourites included:
- Baby - Jabuticaba - Sem Contecao - So Nice (Summer Samba)
We also liked "Ides of March" which is a popular and classic bossa nova song. The one we had was I think performed by a group called Brasilia.
At that time we were also getting into the newer indie rock genres (see Williamsburg, NY) via Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives, The Strokes, etc. Cee's significant other (at that time) played bass for a progressive rock band and it was in following his performance circuit, she uncovered the band that impacted us the most in the year 2004.
On July 28th 2004, at Lion's Den, New York, Cee discovered Jupiter One!!!!
An electro-pop rock fusion act that uses synthesisers, multiple keyboards and violin(/fiddle?) to create the catchiest hooks and the most wistfully unforgettable melodies ever. Since that night we managed to catch them live one more time before returning to Nigeria and we were not even slightly disappointed!
They have recently achieved some fame because tracks from their self titled album have been used in a lot of big franchise video games (See Madden). One song "Platform Moon" was also used for a Mazda commercial and the ever addictive "Countdown" (which is the song currently stuck in my head) was used in pre-season premiere special of "Heroes"! Naturally we are stoked by their success and hope for much, much more!
We loved them so much back then that the track, "Summer Eulogy" (I think it's now called "Summer Song"?) from their first CD featured in our first love video. It's still one of our best. Other songs on there that juiced us while creating our line were:
- Wrong Line - Kamikaze Pilots - Mystery Man
These songs and more are now on their officially released self titled album. Till today, we love Jupiter One and can not urge everyone enough to check them out!
On the whole, in 2004 we listened to a lot of different things but I think I can confidently say that Bebel Gilberto and Jupiter One were our strongest musical influences when we first started creating Imekura. We are eternally grateful to them for this and hope we can pass on the creative buzz that they gave us.
Well, there have been two more collections since "Nostalgia" and one currently in the works. As music continues to be part of what inspires us, please expect more rhapsodies on the musicians and music that will always be a part of our process!
It's November, the United States has changed history by electing a "man of colour" to the office of President and our much awaited new collection is...yet to make an appearance. Surprised? Frankly we are too! What's happening?
All sorts of things really. We're trying to learn flash so we can finish up the website and meanwhile we are quite busy with our respective jobs.
On the bad news side we did lose some inventory to some light fingered staff about a month back so now there are some really limited edition imekura tees and totes floating about out there somewhere. We may have to introduce a certificate system and empower our clients to demand them of anyone seen wearing one. Hmmm...
Anyways, on the good news side we are gathering up a wealth of inspiration and skill so we can happily guarantee that our next collection is going to be too fresh! There might even be a couple of surprises included so you should keep an eye on this space!
We hope you'll stay interactive! Feel free to leave comments here or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry for the long silence. We're still in love with you.
Welcome to the Imekura blog! We’re glad you stopped by! Many of you have been sending us questions, some of you telepathically (how do you do that?), about the Imekura T-Shirts. Questions like, are they still in production? What’s up with the website? How long till the next collection?
We really can’t thank you enough for your caring and your support so instead of trying to do so, we will tell you a story. A long time ago, somewhere in the Western Hemisphere, two girls of a greenish disposition were dreaming dreams. Though the girls were green, their dreams were many coloured and the colours were many hued. Sometimes, it was hard for them to keep it all in their heads and the dreams would spill over and splatter their clothes. That’s how the idea first came to them to do the shirts. They set to work almost immediately, following several constitutional naps. They took pieces from every day-dream and night dream they had ever had, in every place they had ever lived and every mood they had ever felt. Some of them weren’t complete and some were only half remembered but it didn’t matter because they really liked them. They called them Imekura because while they waited for the ink to dry, they made up haikus. That made them think of borrowing things and changing meanings. So they did that too. When they were done, they made a love video about it and sent it to you! The rest as they say is history. Since that time the two green girls have moved across an ocean and during the swim, some things got a little shook up. We now dream and create from Lagos. The website is still damp in places but is actually being worked on by a cool little company called Yellow Dog where at least one green girl now works. It takes a little longer now because we both got jobs. Now, there’s less time for naps, dreams and haikus but we always somehow find a way! So in summary, we are still in business, you will soon be able to comfortably shop from our website and we are brimming over with inspiration for a brand new collection. We hope you plan to hang in there, because the story keeps going and all our friends and fans who support us have become an important part of it. So thanks for all the love. We love you guys the mostest! XX